KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
Coming up on Forum:
A tiny house jamboree in Colorado last month attracted some 40,000 people. The micro-home trend has been covered by the New Yorker, the Washington Post and on innumerable listicles and blogs. Commonly defined as less than 1,000 square feet, the reasons people turn to small homes range from ecological to economic. We'll meet a Bay Area resident who has turned shipping containers into homes as an alternative to sky-high rents. And we'll look at the tiny house movement -- from foundation to finish.
Five years ago a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno. The resulting fireball destroyed a neighborhood and killed eight people. PG&E, the owner of the pipeline, faces hundreds of lawsuits, a $1.6 billion penalty and more than two dozen criminal charges for negligence. An effort to block PG&E from claiming a $115 million tax break for the penalty failed on Thursday. We'll look at San Bruno's recovery efforts, how the explosion served as a wake-up call for pipeline safety, and learn about a KQED investigation into the cozy relationship between PG&E and its regulators.
Hailed by Time Magazine as "Africa's premier diva," singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo has worked with a wide range of artists including Carlos Santana and Alicia Keys. The award-winning singer joins us to talk about her collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony, her foundation for girls' education and why she thinks music is such a powerful unifier.
Author Kazuo Ishiguro is known for crossing genres. He won the Booker Prize for his 1989 novel "Remains of the Day," about the unspoken love between an English butler and housekeeper. In 2005, he published "Never Let Me Go," a novel set in a dystopian future where school kids were cloned. Ishiguro's new book, "The Buried Giant," his first in a decade, is a fantasy novel set in a medieval land of knights and dragons.
In April 1955, the world rejoiced as researcher Jonas Salk debuted a successful vaccine against polio. Up to then, polio had killed thousands and left tens of thousands in varying degrees of paralysis. Physician and author Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs joins us to talk about her book, "Jonas Salk: A Life," which chronicles Salk's life from his childhood in a New York tenement through his work on groundbreaking vaccines and his fraught relationship with a scientific community that disdained him.
The Transcontinental Railroad has been dubbed a feat of 19th century engineering and has been credited with opening California up to trade. Despite the importance of the project, little is known about the individual lives of the 12,000 Chinese immigrants who laid the track between Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada. Now, 150 years after Chinese workers began working on the railroad, we look back on the contributions of those workers and learn about the Stanford project that's piecing together their personal stories.
Recently on Forum:
By the time Carly Severn was 19, she had lost all her hair to an autoimmune disease called alopecia. Over time, she became a master at drawing her eyebrows on and wrapping her head in colorful scarves. Suleika Jaouad also lost her hair, after undergoing intensive chemotherapy as treatment for cancer. When her hair grew back, Jaouad shaped it into a mini mohawk and shaved swirls into the side of her head - something she never would have done before. "I started embracing this new, edgier aesthetic," she told the New York Times. If you've lost your hair, for whatever reason, how did it change how you saw yourself? How did it change how others treated you?
A new state law will allow California women to obtain birth control prescribed by a pharmacist. But some doctors and legislators want to go even further -- to make birth control available over the counter, with no prescription required at all. Most stakeholders support loosening the restrictions, saying there is no medical reason for women to visit a doctor before taking birth control. Critics are concerned about the high cost of over-the-counter medication. We explore the impact of prescription-free birth control on women's health, reproductive rights and the Obamacare debate.
Many of us have experienced that feeling of wanting to do anything besides the task in front of us. But what exactly is it that drives people to watch "Law and Order" reruns or alphabetize their bookshelves when a deadline looms? We'll examine the psychology behind procrastination and how to overcome it. What tasks do you consistently put off? What tips do you have for getting stuff done?
In a recent episode of HBO's "Silicon Valley," the startup founders at the center of the television series are forced to make an ethical decision: whether or not to hack into a rival company's database. Though fictional, that scenario may not be too far from the truth. Uber has been accused of tying up competitors' cars with fake orders. Facebook turned the news feeds of half a million users into a psychological study. And Snapchat has been accused of taking a "cavalier approach" to security. We'll discuss the role of ethics in Silicon Valley's environment of disruption and innovation.
Individuals with borderline personality disorder, a mental health condition marked by unstable moods and reckless or impulsive behavior, often have trouble maintaining their friendships and romantic relationships. We'll discuss the latest research on the condition, including findings that people with the disorder may have lower activity in the regions of the brain associated with empathy.
As President Obama sells his climate agenda to the nation, state legislators in California are set to vote on a package of bills that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut petroleum use in half. Gov. Jerry Brown and many high-profile state Democrats say California needs to take the lead on mitigating climate change. Opponents of the new regulations, including industry groups and state Republicans, say the strict regulations go beyond leading and put California at risk.
The demand for computer programmers is on the rise. The job site Glassdoor shows 7,300 nationwide job openings for coders so far this year -- and coding bootcamps are answering the call. These intensive multi-week courses promise to provide enough skills to land a coveted programing job. The courses are expected to produce 16,000 coders this year, twice as many as last year. In March, the White House even announced an initiative to help communities hire graduates of these intensive courses. Are coding bootcamps worth the investment, and do they live up to their promises?
Back in 2011, a hunger strike by inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison exposed harsh conditions at special security units. The action fueled a major federal lawsuit alleging some inmates had been held in solitary confinement for decades. We look at a major development in the case.
San Quentin State Prison is in its second week of battling an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease. Since Friday, six inmates have tested positive for the bacterial pneumonia, with more than 70 other inmates displaying symptoms. Prison officials have turned off water taps and showers and even briefly shut off access to toilets, in an effort to prevent the bacteria, which is spread through water vapor, from spreading. We'll talk about possible causes of the outbreak and efforts to contain it.
The Monterey Bay endured decades of overfishing and pollution; it was one of the most polluted places along the California coast. Today, the Bay hosts a thriving wealth of humpback and blue whales, elephant seals, sea otters and more. We'll talk to experts about the history of conservation in the Bay, as well as ongoing opportunities and threats to that ecosystem. PBS and the BBC present "Big Blue Live," a three-night live broadcast airing tonight on KQED 9 at 8 p.m. through this Wednesday Sept. 2.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee recently announced that homeless people camping along the city's Embarcadero were "going to have to leave" when the city hosts the Super Bowl in February. The statement has angered homeless advocates, who say the mayor's plan contains no commitment to house and treat those removed. But supporters of the mayor, citing health concerns and mounting public frustration over filthy sidewalks and public spaces, say it's time to for the city to crack down.